Programme Director in Design at London College of Communication (LCC) Nicky Ryan delivered a presentation called ‘Creative Collaborations’ on 10 April at the ‘Expertise, Engagement and Impact’ event organized by the Share Academy. The partnership between UCL, UAL and the London Museums Group (LMG) aims to broker stronger connections between the Higher Education and museum sectors.

Nicky discussed a range of projects undertaken in the last five years by LCC in collaboration with the Cuming Museum and reflected on the benefits and challenges of such partnerships. Sadly representatives from the Cuming Museum were unable to attend because they were busy salvaging artefacts following extensive damage caused by fire on 25 March.

Catherine Hamilton, Cuming Museum Manager takes Nicky behind the scenes at the Cuming Museum.

Catherine Hamilton, Cuming Museum Manager takes Nicky behind the scenes at the Cuming Museum.

The Cuming Museum is now closed but Museum Manager Catherine Hamilton said she was pleased the talk was going ahead because ‘we need all the publicity we can get!’ Community support has been strong and the museum will continue with a series of events and school activities at Inspire in the Walworth Road

The keynote speaker at the Share Academy symposium was Baroness Estelle Morris who opened the event by stressing the need for interdependence as well as independence, arguing that partnerships were the glue that energized projects and processes. Sally MacDonald, Director Museums & Public Engagement at UCL introduced the Share Academy’s aims and activities and announced the award of two more years funding.

Other speakers discussed findings from partnership case studies and interviews with academics and museum professionals about their experience of museums and university collaborations. The conclusion was that successful partnerships resulted from effective brokerage, sustainable long term relationships and access to funding.

The event provided a great opportunity for Nicky to meet new museum contacts and to consider future collaborations in terms of the two new courses BA (Hons) Spatial Design and BA (Hons) Design Cultures which will launch in September 2013.